Welcome back to Hapa Hour! Hope you're all staying warm now that the cold weather has finally caught up to us. So we shot a brand new series of our specialty appetizers and cocktails, a perfect excuses to invite friends over for to keep you warm on cold fall nights.
Chocolate Bacon Chips
Serves 4 to 8
3/4 pound thick-cut smoked bacon (16 slices)
1 to 2 tablespoons good maple syrup
2 tablespoons sweet cocoa powder
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place a baking rack on a sheet pan and arrange the bacon in 1 layer on the baking rack. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the bacon begins to brown. Remove the pan carefully from the oven; there will be hot grease in the pan! Brush the bacon slices with maple syrup and bake for another 3 to 5 minutes, until the bacon is a warm golden brown. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels. While warm, sprinkly the sweet cocoa powder over the bacon. Use more for the more adventurous. Break up the cooled bacon into bite sizes and toss with the tamari almonds below.
Optional - You can omit the sweet cocoa powder altogether and just have candied bacon chips.
Tamari Roasted Almonds
1 pound almonds
3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the almonds on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, until browned; let cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°. Toss the almonds with the tamari, then toss with the butter. Roast the almonds for 10 minutes, stirring, until richly browned. Let cool. Season with salt and cayenne and serve.
Cocktail: Shishito Sparkler
1 bottle sparkling white wine
1 - 3 Shishito, Japanese Pepper
Directions: muddle shishito, add Prosecco. Drain and serve.
Alternative - If you can't find shishito peppers, regular green bell peppers will do the trick. You only need a small piece to muddle into your sparkling wine or champagne. As with shishitos, a green sweet pepper will give it a nice peppery taste without burning your mouth.